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English as a Second Language (ESL)

Click on the course code to reveal the course description.

Please remember that not all courses are offered at every OCSB high school. Consult your myBlueprint account for the courses offerings at your school.

CodeCourse NameLevelTypePrerequisite
ESLAOEnglish as a Second Language, Level 1Level 1OpenNone
ESLBOEnglish as a Second Language, Level 2Level 2OpenESL Level 1
ESLCOEnglish as a Second Language, Level 3Level 3OpenESL Level 2
ESLDOEnglish as a Second Language, Level 4Level 4OpenESL Level 3
ESLEOEnglish as a Second Language, Level 5Level 5OpenESL Level 4

These courses are designed for English language learners who have had opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in their own language appropriate to their age or grade level. Most English language learners are in this group. These learners may be entering secondary school from elementary school alongside their English-speaking peers, or they may be entering secondary school in Ontario having recently arrived from other countries. They can read and write in their own language within the expected range for students of their age in their own country. They can build on their existing first-language skills when learning English in an ESL program.

ESL credit courses (ESLAO to ESLEO) are available to English language learners on the ESL credit pathway. Up to three ESL language courses can be applied to the four compulsory English credits required for diploma purposes. There are five ESL courses based on levels of language proficiency in English. Depending on a learners’ previous experience with English, students may be placed in ESL Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. For example, a student who has been in full-time education in his or her country of origin but who has never studied English would be placed in ESL Level 1. A student who has been in full-time education in his or her own country and has studied some English might be placed in ESL Level 2 or 3 on the basis of the initial English language assessment.

Course descriptions

ESLAO – English as a Second Language, Level 1

1 credit, Open, Prerequisite: None

This course builds on students’ previous education and language knowledge to introduce the English language and help students adjust to their new cultural environment. Students will use beginning English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing for everyday and essential academic purposes; use basic English language structures and simple sentence patterns in short conversations; read short adapted texts; and write phrases and short sentences. The course also provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin to adapt to their new lives in Canada.

 

ESLBO – English as a Second Language, Level 2

1 credit,  Open, Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 1

This course expands students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English for everyday and academic purposes. Students will participate in conversations, in structured situations, on a variety of familiar and new topics; link English sentences to compose paragraphs; read a variety of texts designed or adapted for English language learners; and expand their knowledge of English grammatical structures and sentence patterns. The course also supports students’ continuing adaptation to the Ontario school system by expanding their knowledge of diversity in their new province and country.

 

ESLCO – English as a Second Language, Level 3

1 credit, Open, Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 2

This course extends students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will make short classroom presentations; read a variety of adapted and original texts in English; and write using a variety of forms of text. Students will also expand their academic vocabulary and their study skills to facilitate the transition to the mainstream school program. This course also introduces students to the rights and responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship and to a variety of current Canadian issues.

 

ESLDO – English as a Second Language, Level 4

1 credit, Open, Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 3

This course prepares students to use English with increasing fluency and accuracy in classroom and social situations and to participate in Canadian society as informed citizens. Students will develop the reading, writing and oral presentation skills required for success in all school subjects. They will study and interpret a variety of grade-level texts; extend listening and speaking skills through participation in discussions and seminars; write narratives, articles, and summaries in English; and respond critically to various print and media texts.

 

ESLEO – English as a Second Language, Level 5

1 credit, Open, Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 4

This course provides students with the skills and strategies they need to make the transition to college and university preparation courses in English and other secondary school disciplines. Students will be encouraged to develop independence in a range of academic tasks. They will participate in debates and lead classroom workshops; read and interpret literary works and academic texts; write essays, narratives and reports; and apply a range of learning strategies and research skills effectively. Students will further develop their ability to respond critically to print and media texts.

ELD and ESL prerequisite chart

The chart below shows how most students may progress through their ESL and/or ELD courses and into mainstream English courses. Not all students will follow this sequence exactly and individual students may vary in the rate at which they progress through the levels.*